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Poster: archivemovie123 Date: Jan 26, 2010 8:11am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Can Letterboxing Be a Basis for Copyright?

Can letterboxing an item, with what looks like fake black borders, be a basis for copyright? I was wondering because I've heard its on some PD items I was interested in.

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Poster: billbarstad Date: Jan 26, 2010 8:20am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Can Letterboxing Be a Basis for Copyright?

Letterboxing isn't a creative process, so no, don't think so.

Oops! I was wrong. See this post.

This post was modified by billbarstad on 2010-01-26 16:20:54

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Poster: Moongleam Date: Jan 26, 2010 10:05am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Can Letterboxing Be a Basis for Copyright?

Padding a picture with black at the top and the bottom when its aspect-ratio doesn't match the screen is very easily done with a transcoding program such as MEncoder.

I don't see how it could be the basis of a copyright claim.

And even if it were, you can easily remove the black padding by using the crop filter in MEncoder.

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffVideo-Cellar Date: Jan 26, 2010 4:59pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Can Letterboxing Be a Basis for Copyright?

It's only copyrightable in the context of panning and scanning. If you pan and scan a widescreen movie, but keep some sequences in varying degrees of letterboxing, those letterboxed images are just as copyrightable as the full screen images you've created. With panning and scanning, its about the creative decisions you make about what you show in each sequence. You are effectively creating a new movie from the frames of a pre-existing movie.

But as for sticking black bars at the top or bottom or all four sides (windowboxing) that is inherently uncreative and wouldn't be the subject of copyright. A lot of movies in the 50s & 60s were cropped for theatrical distribution. The cropped WS of "House on Haunted Hill" is just as PD as the full frame version.

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Poster: archivemovie123 Date: Jan 27, 2010 8:03am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Can Letterboxing Be a Basis for Copyright?

This letterbox is on a set of millcreek pd TV episodes. The guy who owns this said that some of the episodes have, what looks like to him, fake letterbox, to most likely cover up the logo of another ocmpany.

Do you think that qualifies as your second example of where a program is "windowboxed"?

Also, could you briefly explain panning and scanning?

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Poster: quigs Date: Jan 27, 2010 10:38am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Can Letterboxing Be a Basis for Copyright?

I got this one. Pan and scan is technigue where you tried to put a film on all the screen instead of letter box which show a film with corners that show the film as it was might to be seen in a theater(think Ben Hur)which is a cleaner image; pan and scan fills up the screen and gives a slighly out of focus image(think of a magnifying class real close to your screem) Does that help?
IA has a good example of both technigues on the same film,
John Wayne's Mclintock. Take a look and you'll see the difference.